Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chocolate and Cherry Bread Pudding!

Today I am visiting over at Kristen's blog, Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker! Stop by and visit! I brought my Chocolate and Cherry Bread Pudding today as part of Kristen's "Solid Month of Chocolate"! I am a lover of all things bread pudding and chocolate, and this is one of the tastiest I have ever eaten!
 I love baking bread pudding in individual dishes!
I used Challah bread for a rich taste.....
and Callebaut milk chocolate !

To get the recipe for this Chocolate and Cherry Bread Pudding
stop by and visit at Kristen's blog,
While you are there, check out all the other
 incredible, yummy recipes for Kristen's 
Solid Month of Chocolate!
You can never have too much chocolate,
or recipes that use it!

Thanks for joining me today!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Meringue and Chocolate Surprise Cookies!

Today is reveal day for the Improv Cooking Challenge. This challenge is always fun, and this month the two ingredients we were required to use are Hearts and Flours! Aren't they just perfect choices for the month of February?! I made these Meringue and Chocolate Surprise Cookies, and I think they are a great example of everything heart and flour during this month of love!

Meringue and Chocolate Surprise Cookies
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Milk
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/4 cup Flour
2 Egg Whites
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1/2 cup Sugar
40 Milk Chocolate Kisses
Start with making your cookie base. 
Beat butter in a bowl on medium speed for 30 seconds.
Add 1/2 cup Sugar and beat until combined, scraping
sides occasionally. Beat in milk
and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. 
Beat in your flour, and combine well.
Roll out the dough to 1/4" thickness. 
Chill dough for 4-48 hours.
Cut heart shaped cookies from dough. 
Place on a baking sheet, and return to refrigerator.
Beat your egg whites, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, cinnamon,
and cream of tartar in a mixing bowlwith an
electric mixer on medium to high speed until   
soft peaks form.   
Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, 
beating on high about 7 minutes,.......
or until very stiff  
peaks form, and sugar is dissolved.
Spoon the mixture into a decorating bag, fitted
with a medium star tip.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. 
Take your baking sheet from the refrigerator.
Place a chocolate kiss in the center of each heart.
Using your pastry bag, 
pipe the meringue around each kiss.
Start at the center of the heart, and
 continue around and 
up until the chocolate kiss is covered.
Cook for 15-18 minutes, until meringue is
slightly browned. Cool on wire rack. 
Enjoy your Meringue and Chocolate Surprise Cookies!

We are visiting the following parties:
Networking Saturday

Thanks for joining me today, and don't forget to 
check out all the wonderful Improv recipes!


Monday, February 18, 2013

I Heart S'mores on a Stick!

Today is reveal day for the Secret Recipe Club! This month I was so lucky to be assigned the blog, Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom! This fabulous blog is authored by Jamie. Jamie's blog is full of wonderful recipes, crafts, home projects, sewing tutorials, and wonderfully, creative crafts. I just love her blog, and you will to! I have been a little busy lately, so I picked one of Jamie's recipes that was quick, simple, and oh, so good~S'mores on a Stick. I dressed them up a little as a Valentine's Day treat, and they were a huge success. These are such a good idea and so yummy, I wish I had thought of it! :)
S'mores on a Stick
Red & White Straws, cut in half
Milk Chocolate
Pink Marshmallows, regular size
Graham Crackers
Red Ribbon
Crush your graham crackers, by putting them in a 
ziplock bag, and rolling over the bag with a rolling pin.
Melt your chocolate. I used Callebaut chocolate,
and it was perfect.
Poke the cut straws into the marshmallows.
Dip your marshmallow into the chocolate.
Roll your chocolate covered marshmallow in the
graham cracker crumbs.
Place the finished s'mores on a baking tray to set up.
Decorate as you wish. These would be perfect for a party,
with ribbons in the party colors, wouldn't it?
Thank you Jamie, for such a great recipe!
Thanks for joining me today!

We are joining these fun parties:
In and Out of the Kitchen Link Up Party 

Check out all the other Secret Recipe Club recipes!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness Giveaway!

This is the 2nd year that The Freshman Cook is participating in The Random Acts of Kindness Giveaway! This is a blog hop giveaway and this year there are over 145 participants! So much fun!! The giveaway starts today and ends on January 24th at midnight. That gives you 8 whole days to enter for a chance to win! Here is what we are giving away:
A cookbook written by the owner of Magnolia Bakery, Allysa Torey.
The book is titled, At Home with Magnolia, and it is bursting at the seams
with not only sweet bakery recipes, but also appetizers, lunches, dinners,
and even party foods! It is an incredible book.
To go along with the book, and to help you in making the yummy
Orange Vanilla Cupcakes on page 116, the giveaway also includes a
package of 48 Cupcake Cases, a bottle of blue Pearl Nonpareils,
spring colors of Confetti Sprinkles, and some neon pink decorating Sugar.
All you need to make delicious and beautiful cupcakes!
(I will be glad to taste test for you!)

How do you enter the giveaway?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out all these great giveaways!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Chocolate and Cherry Biscotti

Today is the first reveal of a new Dessert Challenge called Behind The Curtain!
 The Challenge is hosted by Sheryl, the blogger behind The Lady Behind The Curtain blog, and I am sure it will be a big success! I had such fun choosing what to make with this months ingredients, which are chocolate and cherry! Perfect for Valentine's Day, wouldn't you say? I had several different ideas, and I finally decided on a Chocolate Cherry Biscotti, and I am so happy I did. They turned out great, and they were the perfect gift for a friend!
Chocolate and Cherry Biscotti
1/2 cup Butter
3/4 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/4 cup Maraschino Juice
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Orange Peel
2 3/4 cups Flour
2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Maraschino Cherries, rough chopped
1/4 cup Pistachio Nuts, rough chopped
1/4 cup Mini Chocolate Chips
4 ounces Milk Chocolate, chopped
Let's do some prep first:
 Zest your orange to get your orange peel.
Chop your pistachios.A rough chop will work fine.
A rough chop is a chop where the pieces do not have to be
a consistent, matching size.
Chop your cherries. This should be a rough chop also.

Now on to your recipe:
Cream your butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time.
Mix well. 
Blend in cherry juice, vanilla, and orange peel.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder,
and salt. Gradually stir this into the butter mix. Fold in the
cherries and nuts.
Add the chocolate chips.
Cover your dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate
for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Use parchment paper, or spray your baking sheet.
 Shape your dough into 2 logs that are 1 1/2" in diameter.
Place the logs on your cookie sheet and bake for
20-25 minutes, or until golden and firm.
Remove the logs from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
Cut the logs into 1/2" slices and lay flat on your baking sheet.
Return to the oven and bake about 15 minutes, until golden.
Place the cookie slices on a cooling rack until completely cooled.
While your slices are cooling, melt your chocolate in a double boiler.
Dip the end of each slice into the chocolate.
I often use a spatula to help me get the chocolate 
where I want it and looking pretty.
Place the dipped cookies on your baking sheet
so the chocolate can set.
Once the chocolate is set, eat and enjoy!

Don't forget to tale a look at what everyone else
made today!

Lady Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Candy Cane Hearts!

If you have any candy canes left over from Christmas, this is the perfect reason to use some of them. These little Candy Cane Hearts are a fast and simple last minute valentine treat. And they are cute too!

Candy Cane Hearts
Mini Candy Canes 
White Almond Bark
Conversation Hearts
Place your candy canes like in the picture.
Make sure you use parchment paper or wax paper 
on your baking sheet under the candy canes.
Melt your white almond bark according
 to the package directions, then pour the 
almond bark into your heart.
This would be the perfect time to  place your candy
heart in the middle. As you can see, I forgot, and I had to 
add it at the end. You could also add red hots 
or red and pink sprinkles too!  Let set up.
Wrap in plastic, tie with a bow, and you have a quick and cute
valentine's treat!!

Thanks for joining The Freshman Cook today!